Based on David Greig's play of the same name, The Architectis the story of two Chicago families in divergent economic circumstances whose fortunes and futures collide. The architect in question is Leo Waters (Anthony Lapaglia), who along with his depressed and stagnating wife (Isabella Rossellini) lives in an affluent home on the north side of Chicago. Their daughter Christina (Hayden Panettiere) is awkward in her newly developed body, chafing under the watchful eye of her father; and their son Martin (Sebastian Stan) has recently returned from college, confused by his sexuality and unsure of how to live up to his father's expectations. On the other end of the socioeconomic spectrum and the other side of Chicago, Tonya Neely (Viola Davis) lives in a drug- and crime-infested project. Preoccupied with keeping her family safe in a startlingly dangerous neighborhood, Tonya sees no choice other than radically altering her family's and her neighborhood's situation. An activist who wants nothing more than to better the lives of those around her, she determines that the housing project needs to be torn down. To accomplish this, she begs for the help of the man who built the project-Leo Waters. Over the course of a few days these two families forever change the course of each other's lives in this powerful and sophisticated urban drama.